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Six things you didn’t know people did in their bathrooms


When we asked 50 householders to participate in our seven-day confidential diary study Behind the Bathroom Door, we discovered some interesting things…

No.1 Dog Days

The bathroom is no longer reserved for people.  22% of people wash their dog in the bathroom either in the bath or the shower, with some respondents doing this as often as once a week. In the UK we are in the process evolving from being a nation of pet lovers to being a nation of ‘pet parents’. While the UK birth rate is declining, the dog population has reached 8.5million and 24% of households own at least one dog (Source PFMA). As we treat our ‘fur babies’ more as members of the family than pets, it appears our dogs are now beginning to have access to our bathroom spaces. 

No.2 Down the Pan

As well as using the toilet to dispose of paper, tissues, sanitary products, dental floss, nail clippings and dirty mop water, a small number of participants revealed that they use the toilet to get rid of liquid foods such as soup and gravy.

No.3 Around the Block

The main cause of toilet blockages is too much paper, although wipes and toilet ‘blue’ cleaning blocks are also culprits, and 38% of toilets have been blocked at some point. When it comes to unblocking the toilet, a variety of techniques are used. The most popular remains the plunger, but others include poking with a stick, using coat hangers, donning rubber gloves to unblock manually, and leaving for a while and then flushing again with bleach.

No. 4 That’s Entertainment

It seems that people enjoy being entertained while having a bath, with 41% of participants who regularly took baths revealing they like to read either a book, newspaper, magazine or a Kindle. 7% will watch a film or TV shows on either their phone or tablet, and 7% will listen to the radio. 30% like to use candles or dim the lights to create the right ambience, and 1 in 5 participants said that they occasionally enjoy a glass of wine.

No.5 Smart Move

Increasingly people are taking their phones into the bathroom with them, and not necessarily to have a chat. They are engaging in a range of online activities, with 10% checking their emails, 10% listening to music, 6% sending texts, 4% checking Facebook, 4% listening to podcasts, 4% reading news feeds, 4% watching videos, and 2% playing games. A further 2% use their smartphones in the bathroom to check their bank accounts.

No.6 What a Shower

The research revealed that showers are a solo activity and very rarely shared with a partner, husband or wife. The reasons given for this included ‘it’s not hygienic’, ‘this is my space’, ‘I’m 6ft4 so there’s not much room’, ‘this is my relaxing time with no distractions’, and ‘we shared our shower just once… it wasn’t as much fun as we thought it would be and nothing like the movies’.



The full report is available to
Trend-Monitor Insight Partners

Find out more here

The DreamHouzz Pop Up Experience Taps into Key Social Trends


When Houzz UK opened the doors to its DreamHouzz pop-up retail experience in September, it was clear that the online platform for home renovation and design had tapped into some key social trends.

After surveying its community to assess what a ‘dream home’ really means to homeowners and renters, it gathered responses from 2,560 users, and then worked with nine interior design studios to create eight roomsets in a warehouse in Bermondsey.

When @houzzuk opened the doors to its DreamHouzz pop-up retail experience in September, it was clear that the online platform for home renovation and design had tapped into some key social trends. Click To Tweet

We take a look at the four roomsets that we think best show how our households are changing

The Renters Sanctuary

Dreamhouzz Renter’s Sanctuary

According to Office of National Statistics, there are 7.7million one-person households in the UK, with more female single households in older generations.  This roomset was designed by Sacha Berger of Honey Bee Interiors with a single forty-something woman in mind.

Berger says she had a clear vision of her ‘client’ – “She’s a journalist and loves nights in and enjoying her space,” she explained – and chose a muted palette to create a relaxed space to socialise in, to reflect how a professional woman might prefer to spend her spare time.

As it’s a room in a rented property, Berger selected freestanding pieces that can easily be packed up and moved from place to place. Trend-Monitor’s research confirms that today’s consumers have more transient lifestyles, and are choosing to rent rather than buy in order to maintain financial and social freedom.

The Millennial Flatshare

Dreamhouzz Millennial Flatshare

According to research by M&S Bank, a fifth of millennials do not believe they will ever be in a position to own their own home, and 60% of those aged 18 to 35 said they would consider taking out a mortgage as a group in order to get onto the property ladder.    The Millennial Flatshare space reflects this trend.  Created by Simone Gordon and Sophie van Winden of Owl Design, the space is designed for two friends in their thirties with a busy schedule.

The designers chose a colour scheme of burnt oranges, soft greens and pale pinks, along with long-lasting items of furniture made using traditional craft techniques. Recent research by AXA Insurance revealed that sustainability is increasingly a concern to people when it comes to creating living environments.

The Modern Family Pad 

Dreamhouzz Modern Family Pad

Research by the Royal Institute of British Architects has revealed that in the UK we are now living in the smallest houses in Western Europe. This small space accommodating a couple in their forties with a five-year-old child and family pet needed to be multi-functional and have as much storage as possible.

To add to the challenge, the ‘clients’ are said to enjoy cycling and yoga in their spare time. “We had to think of creative ways to optimise it without it feeling cluttered,” explained the designers from At Home with Hostmaker. “We’ve used the wall for bike storage and other gym equipment, and we’ve added in a space-saving shoe rack and shelving.” A designated play area gives the room extra flexibility.

The Dog Lovers’ Creative Quarters

Dreamhouzz Dog Lovers Creative Quarters

Trend-Monitor has established that as UK birth rates are falling, pet ownership is going up – consequently we now spend more on our pets than we do on our children.  This space reflects this trend; designed by Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead of 2LG Studio for a couple who love travel and fashion, and let their mini dachshund sleep on their bed. “The owners spend a lot of time in front of computer screens or on the phone, so it’s important their bedroom is a sanctuary,” said the designers. “Our favourite thing in the space is the wallpaper – a witty nod to the owners’ beloved animal companion,” they added. 


How the Kitchen Industry is Tackling Food Waste


With food waste and saving the pennies high on the consumer agenda, kitchen appliance giants are helping householders understand their actions and change their attitude to throwing away food.  

Every year across the globe, 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food is thrown away according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.  In the UK alone, we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food every year and a typical family wastes £60 a month, or £720 a year.

In the UK alone, we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food every year and a typical family wastes £60 a month, or £720 a year. Click To Tweet

This waste in turn amounts to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital, and needlessly produces greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.

According to research carried out for Whirlpool EMEA, in the UK we have a tendency to buy and cook too much, and then forget about our actions, letting food linger in the fridge or cupboard until it becomes inedible. In fact, the research reveals that about a third of all food produced is either lost or wasted through poor planning.

Hotpoint – Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food 2018 – Food waste infographic

These stark figures are behind a campaign by Jamie Oliver and Whirlpool brand Hotpoint – ‘Fresh Thinking for Forgotten Food’.

Food waste is an everyday problem all of us face, and we’re often not aware that with just a little bit of know-how, a huge volume of the food we throw away can be transformed into delicious, tasty things,” says Oliver.

Along with sharing Oliver’s tips and recipes, in October Hotpoint also unveiled its Fresh Thinking Pop-Up Café in East London to help spread the word.



But behind all this is a message to consumers to harness the brand’s refrigeration technology. According to Hotpoint, maximising its precision temperature control, and Active Oxygen technology, and storing food correctly using the innovative 3-in-1 Zone, ensures ‘day one food freshness’ and helps keep food fresher for longer.

Hotpoint Active Oxygen Technology

Hotpoint isn’t the only brand raising food waste awareness in tandem with promoting its advancing refrigeration capabilities. Earlier this year, Grundig partnered with three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura for its Respect Food programme. While not as high-profile as Oliver, Bottura’s restaurant in Modena, Osteria Francescana, was voted World’s No.1 Restaurant this year for the second time in William Reed Business Media’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.   And Bottura is already an established campaigner in this area having founded non-profit organisation Food For Soul, which helps raise awareness of food waste and social isolation.

“Our Respect Food programme spans both product development and working with partners to reduce waste and use surplus food for good causes,” says Grundig.  Its latest GQN21220WX fridge-freezer features a Full Fresh+ crisper drawer that controls humidity levels, which the brand says keeps fruit and vegetables fresh for up to 30 days, as well as a Vitamin Care Zone that preserves the vitamin C content in fruit and vegetables by simulating natural light.

Full Fresh by Grundig

As far as appliance manufacturers are concerned, food waste is the big story and things are advancing fast. At IFA this year, Sharp launched its VacPac Pro Four-Door fridge-freezer that enables consumers to pack and store food without air by placing it a vacuum sealer bag, and then using the automative vacuum sealer on the front of the appliance to suck out the air. The brand says that this preserves food for up to eight times longer.

Also at IFA, Haier revealed its combination fridge-freezers with technology that reduces oxygen in the storage compartment to slow down food ageing.

However, appliance manufacturers aren’t the only ones with an eye on food waste as an area where they can deliver solutions. A prototype of the Mimica Touch food freshness indicator, which enables consumers to avoid throwing food away unnecessarily, was showcased at this year’s 100% Design.

Meanwhile, connected home company Smarter has adopted a more direct approach and is tackling the wasteful purchasing behaviour itself. Its FridgeCam wireless camera takes a photo of the fridge contents every time the door is closed, and has a ‘best before’ tracker to show which items are about to expire. It can be remotely accessed via an app so the user can check the fridge contents when they’re out and about, and avoid buying items they don’t need.

According to Smarter, this simple – but effective – strategy can help reduce food waste by up to 50%.


The Psychology Behind the Popularity of the Hexagon


When it comes to wall and floor tiles, the hexagon has been having a moment, and according to Sam Waxman, managing director of Waxman Ceramics, this trend is “showing no signs of slowing down”.

We’ve seen an increase in demand for geometric shapes over the past few years with hexagonal patterns coming out on top, year on year,” Sam says. “They’re a firm favourite for a multitude of projects due to their ability to create both classic and contemporary looks with ease.”

Our current and enduring love of the hexagonal shape is beyond question. But could it be that it may stem from something far deeper and more instinctive than just our natural appreciation of pattern? After all, when you think of turtle shells and beehives, it’s a design that nature has favoured since time began.

Could the trend for the hexagon shape in interiors stem from something far deeper and more instinctive than just our natural appreciation of pattern? Click To Tweet

From honeycombs to pineapple skin, to the basal columns called the Giant’s Causeway, this naturally forming geometric shape is all around us,” says Justin Lashley, specification sales at Waxman Ceramics Architectural Tiles.

Giants Causeway, a natural hexagonal-shaped rock formation in Northern Ireland

In fact, the more you think about it, the more you realise that we’ve incorporated the six-sided polygon everywhere – we’ve added it to footballs, to bolts, to pencils. Are we hardwired to love the hexagon in spite of ourselves? And has the fact that we’re accustomed to being surrounded by it imbued us with an affinity that we can’t resist?

Lashley believes so.

There’s a simple reason this trend won’t go away – nature and science won’t allow it,” he says. “As tessellating shapes go, it’s supreme as it can circumscribe the largest area for a given perimeter. So from the gigantic hexagonal cloud storm on Saturn, to the microscopic heart of a snowflake, hexagons are here to stay.”

There’s a simple reason the Hexagon trend won’t go away – nature and science won’t allow it - Justin Lashley, Waxman Ceramics @WaxmanCeramicHQ Click To Tweet

It’s this surge in popularity that has led the Waxman Ceramics to introduce two exclusive new tile ranges – the Hudson and the Marseille. Both of these collections capitalise on the trend for textures in tiles, seen over the past few years, and also the current passion for all things hexagonal – and this combination is proving a hit with consumers.

Waxman Hudson Range
Trend-Monitor-Tile Trends-Hexagon
Waxman Marseille Range

Sarsen Stone brand Ca’ Pietra has also caught the hexagonal wave. Its patterned Lily Pad tile has become an Instagrammer’s icon, to the extent that as well as having the original cement encaustic version, the company has recently launched a porcelain version at a lower price point to capitalise on demand.

Ca’Pietra Lily Pad


Ca’ Pietra LilyPad Eucalyptus

“The Lily Pad pattern tile has earned its popularity thanks to its versatility,” says Hamish Smith, creative director of Ca’ Pietra. This versatility is purely down to its hexagonal shape. It’s possible to create up to three entirely different, striking patterns and effects by rotating the tile. “You can use it to make a shower area stand out or give floors the ultimate visual feast,” says Smith. “It can make a small bathroom feel larger than the space it occupies. It’s ideal for adding a splash of colour to any room, while making a design statement in modern and traditional interiors.”


Lochside House – RIBA House of the Year 2018

Lochside House RIBA house of the year 2018

Lockside House, a beautiful new home in the West Highlands, has been named ‘House of the Year 2018’ by RIBA.

Designed by architects HaysomWardMiller Architects, Lockside House is a small-scale, sustainable home made from local materials, which sits on the edge of a lake in the West Highlands.

The house was chosen for RIBA House of the Year by a panel of judges made up of architects Takero Shimazaki, Niall Maxwell and Chantal Wilkinson, curator and journalist Laura Mark, and engineer Paul Rogatzki.

Shimazaki described the building as “a well-designed home that is an example of humble, grounded, contextual yet powerful architecture that people can aspire to and be inspired by.  It is astonishing that the remoteness and challenging weather did not prevent the client’s vision being achieved”

Photo copyright Richard Fraser

He said. “The architect’s off-grid solution seems almost effortless. Inside, the spaces merge with the artist owner’s art collection, and there is an overwhelming sense of comfort, warmth and homeliness.”

Photo copyright Richard Fraser

The house is formed of three crafted buildings grouped together, clad in burnt Scottish larch cladding and protected by drystone walls. The roofing echoes the mountains and the walls pick up the horizontal sediments of the rocks.


Bathroom Design Trends Spotted at Sleep+Eat 2018


It was a big year for the Sleep + Eat Event – not only was it the first time it had exhibited at Olympia, having previously been located at the Business Design Centre, but it was also the first time it had added the ‘+ Eat’ element to proceedings.

But while it’s now also about restaurant and bar spaces, the two-day show in November remains the go-to bathroom design destination for architects and designers from all over the globe – Trend-Monitor did a tour of the show to find out what’s trending in the bathroom sector.

Trend No.1 Wellness

Wellness has been at the forefront of bathroom design for some years, and is not going away any time soon. Dornbracht’s new Aquamoon ‘multisensory water experience’ was being shown for the first time in the UK and took centre stage on the company’s stand.

Dornbracht Aquamoon

Featuring three different flow modes, it also offers changing mood lighting, and marketing co-ordinator Alison Clarke explained that hotel designers are now incorporating spa elements in hotel suites, rather than reserving them just for the spa area of the hotel. She envisages this trend filtering through to the residential market and family bathrooms too.

Grohe, founder sponsor of the show, was highlighting its SmartControl shower systems. The Rainshower System SmartControl 360 DUO features a lozenge-shaped head shower that mirrors the width of the human body to deliver a shoulder massage, while the Bokoma Spray has two pulsating spray patterns to provide a head massage.

GROHE SmartControl Shower System



Hansgrohe was exhibiting its Intense PowderRain technology – a soft spray, which consists of dozens of micro-fine sprays, that is both completely drenching and extremely pleasant.

Hansgrohe Intense PowderRain
Wellness has been at the forefront of bathroom design for some years, and is not going away any time soon Click To Tweet


Trend No.2: Multigenerational

The trend for multi-generational products continued to be in evidence in the form of flush-to-floor shower trays, a wealth of new shower-toilet models that are making their way into the UK market, and products that could be adapted to suit different needs.

Also in evidence was the concept of the bathroom as a communal space. VitrA’s latest designer collaboration is the Plural collection by Terri Pecora, which envisages the bathroom as a social hub where people reconnect with themselves and those close to them. The organic-shaped elements can be used in multiple combinations, and angled to face each other, so several people can use the bathroom at the same time in a sociable way.

Plural 4 by Terri Pecora for VitrA

Trend No.3: Individualism

Consumer demand for products they can adapt and create a bathroom environment that is bespoke to them continues to grow. Grohe’s SmartControl shower system enables the user to preset the temperature and enjoy a tailored showering experience via the broad choice of spray options. It also offers EcoJoy – an eco-friendly/water-saving function.

Vado’s Sensori SmartTouch technology allows you to save your temperature, flow and operating time to create your ideal shower every time you use it.

Vado Sensori SmartTouch

The growing appetite for individualising interiors style was also evident at the show. The Axor MyEdition collection offers 15 special FinishPlus surfaces with which to adapt brassware. Crosswater was also trialling different marble handle options to customise its brassware, and shower manufacturers Merlyn and Roman were offering a broad selection of finishes to customise their hinges.

Crosswater Concept

Trend No.4: Soft Matt Surfaces

When it comes to colours, there was a tentative move into the grey and soft pastel end of the colour spectrum, with a particular emphasis on matt finishes.

Bette was showcasing its new Blue Satin effect on its BetteLux Oval Silhouette bath, which is also available in other colours and 22 matt options.

BetteLux Oval Silhouette bath by Bette

Kaldewei was exhibiting its Miena washbasins, which are available in a range of neutral matt shades, and it was also showing its Perfect Match bathroom solutions shown in Oyster Grey.

Kaldewei Perfect Match Oyster Grey Matt

Alape’s Terra group of delicate washbasins were being shown in four soft pastel shades with a matt finish. 

Alape Terra

Black – last year’s favourite finish – was still in evidence on the VitrA and Victoria + Albert Baths stands, and also in Crittall-effect shower enclosures in Roman’s and Novellini’s displays.

When it comes to colours in the bathroom, there is a tentative move into the grey and soft pastel end of the colour spectrum, with a particular emphasis on matt finishes. Click To Tweet

Trend No.5: Slim Shapes

As new materials and production techniques evolve, basins in particular are being produced with the slimmest rims that technology allows. On display on the Dornbracht stand were Alape’s Aqua range of washbasins, which are made from steel and then given a gloss glaze.

VitrA’s Plural washbasins also feature slim rims, and were on display accompanied by tall slender brassware to go with them. Meanwhile, Laufen was showcasing the capabilities of its SaphirKeramik in the new Sonar range designed by Patricia Urquiola. The material is extremely strong and is able to tolerate being shaped into thin but robust walls.

SaphirKeramik in the Sonar range by Patricia Urquiola for Laufen


Find out about the trends from all the UK and overseas Trade Shows here>


The Return of the Kitchen Handle


At the start of 2018 interiors magazines hailed the ‘maximalist’ trend as the big design story of the year – but where does this leave minimalism in the kitchen?

Minimalism helped drive the soaring popularity of kitchen products from German and Italian manufacturers that pioneered the handleless trend. The pared-back aesthetic has dominated kitchen design for years – handleless designs with pocket doors and concealed larders have been about keeping the kitchen space as sparse as possible.

So the question is this: does maximalism spell the end for the handleless kitchen?

Massimo Minale, founder and director of hardware producer Buster + Punch, believes there has been a turnaround in favour of kitchen handles and that this has actually been on the cards for about five years, around the same time that people became hooked on more utilitarian and Shaker-style kitchens.

“Overnight, kitchens went from hiding everything away to putting it all on show, and this is the main reason that the kitchen handle has made a huge comeback,” Minale says.


Buster + Punch T-Bar in Smoked Bronze


Buster + Punch T-Bar in Steel


Buster + Punch Furniture Knobs in, from left to right, Steel, Brass and Smoked Bronze


Minale believes the other reason is quite simply mechanics.

Handles are a lot more practical and satisfying to use, as opposed to hidden mechanisms that continually break down,” he says.

Our Furniture Knobs and T-bars, both with plates, are proving most popular for the simple fact that they are both unique and extremely flexible in the way you can use them throughout your kitchen.”

The company, which also produces lighting, furniture and home accessories, has seen steady growth year-on-year.

PWS is another company that is looking forward to the return of the kitchen handle.

The recent trend for handleless kitchens and the clean, streamlined aesthetic has seen handles fall out of popularity in recent years, but the need for added interest and embellishment has seen them come back on the agenda,” says Graeme Smith, head of design at PWS-owned 1909 Kitchens.

The company launched four new kitchens in July, none of which are handleless, and the door that might lend itself most to a handleless option – the Slab door – actually places a knurled knob handle front and centre of the design.

1909 Slab Kitchen door in Dry Rose with Knurled Matt Black Knob

Feature handles in both the traditional and contemporary arena are popular with consumers,” explains Smith. “Heritage finishes such as chrome, antique brass and bright nickel work perfectly in classic schemes, with matt black and antique brass adding an industrial vibe to a contemporary scheme.”

The company also has a dedicated handles section on its website.

1909 Slab Kitchen in Dry Rose and Graphite with Knurled Matt Black Knob


Smith believes that the power of the kitchen handle should not be underestimated.

“Handles can make or break a kitchen design,” he says. “The position of the handle can also make a big difference to the look of the kitchen, whether it be in line as part of the Shaker style or centred to give a more heritage feel.”

However, he feels that to say this is the end of the minimalist kitchen door may be overstating it, and that the “extra practicality” of the handle can work in conjunction with a pared-back look. “I think they can work hand in hand,” he says.

“By using discreet styles such as trim handles, you can keep the minimalist appearance, while adding a design edge to the kitchen.”



What is really driving sales of water-efficient bathroom products?


It would appear that once behind the bathroom door, consumers care less about the impact their bathroom habits are having on the planet and more about the impact they are having on their wallet.

Water efficiency as a consumer purchase influencer is one of the areas investigated in the recent two-part consumer insight research carried out by Trend-Monitor in partnership with the Bathroom Manufacturers Association.

The first part of the study, which looked at bathroom purchasing trends, found that for up to 80% of bathroom consumers water efficiency was a key purchase influencer.   However, the results of the second part of the research, which examined bathroom habits and behaviours  produced key findings that offer valuable insights into UK consumer behaviour when it comes to water usage and food for thought for bathroom manufacturers.

The second study, aptly named‘ Behind the Bathroom Door’ – followed 50 householders for seven days to track their bathroom habits, and assess their use of bathroom products and attitudes to water efficiency.  Key findings from the research showed that when it comes to bathrooms, consumers primarily want functionality, cleanliness and space.   

The findings also demonstrated that our daily bathroom routines are rigid and rarely change.  And it is the entrenched nature of these activities that is worth noting as this is resulting in some very wasteful habits when it comes to water usage.  

For example, a typical shower uses on average 50 litres of water1, and the study found that most people shower once a day, and that the average showering time is approximately 10 minutes. However, 22% of respondents spent over 15 minutes in the shower, and almost 60% of showers are run to warm up, some for up to 5 minutes.   

When it came to tooth brushing, 25% kept the tap running throughout the whole process, while 81% left the tap running with the plug out for hand washing, and 63% left the tap running and plug out while washing their faces. The majority of those who prefer to take a bath said they fill it as deep as possible – a typical bath can take up to 115 litres to fill2.

When asked to list their priorities from one to 10 when purchasing bathroom items, most respondents indicated their first priority was that products should be functional, second was that they should be easy to clean, and third was their design quality. The fact that products should be water efficient came low down the list at number eight, and bottom of the list was that products should be from a well-known brand.

So what does this mean for bathroom manufacturers, and specifically, what are the implications for the marketing messages that they need to be conveying to consumers?

With the functionality of products being the top priority for 54% of respondents, consumers clearly need to be reassured by manufacturers that water-efficient products are also effective. Marketing messages and POS material need to convey that water-efficient showers and basin taps can also offer a powerful washing experience, and that the toilets have an effective dual flush.

However, there is another strand to this, and that is the fact that water efficiency saves consumers money. Water metering is now compulsory on new buildings3, and the average water bill per household is almost £400 per year4

The Trend-Monitor Bathroom Purchasing Trends report found that over half the respondents had a water meter fitted at their home, and that those with water meters placed more importance on the water efficiency of products than those without. 

With the proliferation of water meters, the demand for water-efficient products looks set to increase as consumers seek to make savings, however, it was concerning to note that over 40% of bathroom product consumers said, at the point of purchase, they were not made aware of the amount of water individual products will use.

When it comes to product development, manufacturers must continue to focus on high-performing water-efficient products. But is it time manufacturers set about educating consumers regarding the amount of money their wasteful habits are actually costing them?


Additional Sources



The Size of an Average Kitchen in the UK


At Trend-Monitor we are often asked the size of an average kitchen in the UK.  We had an idea, but no concrete evidence, which is why we were really pleased to find this interesting piece of research by LABC Warranties which documents the changing average kitchen sizes across the decades.


The data experts at LABC Warranty wanted to settle an argument once and for all – are Britain’s houses really getting smaller?  To do this they turned to property sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla and analysed data on 10,000 houses built in each decade going all the way back to the 1930s.

And according their analysis – Britain’s houses really are getting smaller.

Why did they start in the 1930s?  Well, unfortunately there just isn’t enough data for houses built in the decades before 1930. Whether they have been knocked down to make way for new housing developments or turned into student accommodation, there simply weren’t 10,000 houses available to analyse.

So what did their analysis tell us about kitchen sizes?

Houses built in the 1930s had the smallest kitchens of any decade, with the average measuring just 12.27m2.

Average house built in the 1930s


In the 1940’s the average kitchen size grew by nearly 1.5m2   across the decade

Trend-Monitor-Average-Kitchen-Size 1940s
Average house built in the 1940s


In the 1950s, the average kitchen size grew by another 0.30m2

Average house build in the 1950s


In the 1960s, the average kitchen size grew again, this time by another 1.32m2

Average house built in the 1960s


Overall, Britain built the largest houses during the 1970s, however the average kitchen size within these houses started to shrink

Average house built in the 1970s


In the 1980s the average house size started to shrink and the kitchen size shrank even further

Average house built in the 1980s


In the 1990s Britain’s houses continued to get smaller and the kitchens lost another 0.25m2

Average house built in the 1990s


Again in the 2000s, Britain’s houses got even smaller, along with the average kitchen size

Average house built in the 2000s


Today, Britain’s new-build houses have never been so small. The LABC Warranty analysis of the first seven years of this decade shows continued regression.  Compared to the previous decade, homes built from 2010 onwards are over 4m2 smaller, and our kitchens are not much bigger than they were in the 1930’s – the decade of the smallest kitchen.

Current new built housing


Average Kitchen Sizes in Square Metres


All statistics that feature in this article have been collated using open data from property sites Rightmove and Zoopla. The study looked at 10,000 houses built in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and the current decade. Data was taken on individual rooms within a home. All statistics are calculated on average. 


Source:  Research by LABC Warranty

Mimica Touch Freshness Indicator


The average UK household loses an estimated £470 a year because of avoidable food waste, and 34% of this household waste is due to the food going past it’s ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date, when in reality the discarded food is still edible.

If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world, after China and the US.  In the UK, 60% of all wasted food is perfectly edible.  The reason for this is cautious expiry dates which are kept short by the food industry to be on the safe side.

With this in mind, the Mimica Touch is being developed.  Spotted at 100% Design this year, this freshness indicator degrades at the same rate as the food it carries, meaning generic expiry date labels can be replaced with packet-specific labels, thereby helping to prevent the premature rejection of food and drink.

Mimica Touch is a patented tactile label that tells you exactly when food spoils, accurate to a few hours.  The label is activated as soon as it is attached to the packaging and contains a gel that is calibrated to spoil at the exact same rate as the target food.  The gel is made from waste materials from the food industry, meaning that it is actually experiencing decay, adjusting to conditions along the way and is accurate to one hour.